Watch the When I Leave online guitar lesson by Robben Ford from Rhythm Revolution
This song was actually written on the piano. I found this little thing I liked on the piano in the key of F and fortunately it felt good under my fingers on the guitar as well. It's not a super unique line. I've heard something like that before certainly, but we can put our spin on it and make it have some personal resonance on it. I'm playing this with my fingers. I do at times play it with the pick. Then it goes to the four chord, B flat seven. Now we introduce the big altered five chord. C raised nine, raised five. You hear me playing the little musical theme. These are the things I use to tie my music together and keep a melodic theme throughout. Originally I wrote this song without a bridge but my producer for that record was Danny Kortchmar and he suggested that I write a bridge with the song. Although I didn't want to do the extra work, I pushed myself. The song is in F minor but then we go to a B seven for the four chord so it might have been natural, seeing as I do go for the four chord for my bridge to go to B flat seven because that was what preceded, but instead I go to a B flat minor and play that C minor over it as well. It keeps in context with how the song sounds harmonically. It opens the song up, softens it and allows something new to be introduced lyrically and vocally. Flat six chord, flat D chord. The B flat minor seven, C raised nine, raised five with the root on top. It might be something like that. It's nice to have these changes in mood, these left turns, instead of B flat seven straight up to go minor with it, you can create a different dynamic. You don't just have the sameness running through it, sometimes you do want that but in this case you want to bring something new to it. You'll probably be noticing a lot of recurring chord voicings that I play throughout this course. There's a lot of minor in the blues, and altered five chords. That's really the same chord with just a different voicing that puts a different root note on the top, the altered fifth on top but none the less it's still the altered five chord. That raised nine raised five, especially in a minor tune, is going to be the classic altered chord. Most likely, won't play a thirteen flat nine for instance. That to me has got a bright major sound. It just wants to go to a major, more happier place. But this has a dark sound to it. So you notice that this a theme that I might play and keep it running throughout these 8 bars. Then the harmony changes to that dark altered chord and I won't be using that same theme. It would have to be a darker altered sound that I would go for. Ultimately it's up to you.